If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay

“Please, Mia. Don’t make me write a song.”
-Adam

The day started out great: a snow day had been issued, and Mia Hall and her family were going to spend the day visiting her grandparents and some family friends. But in an instant, they are involved in a crash that claims the lives of her parents, and lands Mia and her brother under intensive treatment in the hospital. During an out-of-body experience, Mia realizes she will have to decide whether to continue her life or end it all.

If I Stay is one of those really tragic books that you can’t help but read over and over again. Half of the book is Mia’s experiences as she wanders around the hospital; the other half tells of flashbacks from before the accident. It’s really suspenseful, mainly due to the fact that for most of the book you don’t even know if Mia’s brother is still alive, nor do you know if Mia will decide to let herself go or force herself to live without her parents. But I really love the element of music featured in this book, from Mia’s classical cello style to her family’s and boyfriend’s punk-rock obsession.

Mia goes through serious hell in this book, besides her parents’ death. Some of the flashbacks and memories she tells of are really depressing, and involve a lot of death as well. Also, the car-crash scene is very graphic, so if you’re squeamish, I’d advise you to either skip over those pages or just don’t read the book at all. It probably wouldn’t be a good idea, considering there are full explanations of her parents’ appearance after the crash.

-J

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